Zimbabwe’s Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI) in partnership with published the findings of its round seven survey on the ‘Quality of Democracy and Governance in Zimbabwe, 2016-2017’.
The survey looked at citizen views on most important problems and 2018 voter intentions and had its usual controversial impact given its surprising findings, which led opposition parties to dismiss the reports.
In its overall findings, the survey found that Zimbabweans consider the issue of unemployment as the biggest challenge that the government should address. The second issue was the management of the economy closely followed by the issue of the state of infrastructure, particularly roads. Democracy and governance did not feature in the top five as a priority concern of those surveyed.
On the political side the survey found that the ruling Zanu Pf party would probably win an election that would be called now, with 38% of respondents having said they would vote for it. Only 16% said they would vote for the main opposition MDC-T while 24% refused to say who they would vote for.
It also found that President Mugabe has an approval rating of 56% while former Prime Minister Tsvangirai sits at 16%. Despite the 56% approval rating that President Mugabe has, an astounding 62% feel they are not at all free to criticize him.
Other major findings include that 45% of respondents support a grand coalition of the opposition for the 2018 harmonised elections. These are largely urban based and educated Zimbabweans.
Some of the criticism stems from the fact that the ‘why’ question remains unaddressed, but MPOI argues that its survey does not seek to find out why Zimbabweans are persuaded in one direction or the other, but just quantifies their views.